MUNCIE, Ind. – Nathalie Fontaine scored a career-high 30 points in the Ball State women's basketball 73-69 home loss to Buffalo in Mid-American Conference action Sunday afternoon at Worthen Arena. With the loss the Cardinals fall to 8-10 overall and 3-4 in MAC action while Buffalo improves to 11-7 for the season and 4-3 in the league.
Only two Cardinals scored in double figures with Fontaine leading the way with her career best 30-point performance, senior guard Brandy Woody chipped in 10 points on the day and dished out five assists. Defensively, Fontaine brought down eight boards and had one block. Freshman forward Shelby Merder tied her career-high after ending the day with eight points.
The Cardinals trailed by 18 (57-39) with 10:26 remaining in the second half but Fontaine hit layup sparking a 20-4 run for the Cardinals to bring Ball State within two-points of the Bulls (61-59) at the 3:56 mark. During that run the Cardinals had help from not only Fontaine but also some key baskets from Woody and senior forward Katie Murphy. In the second half alone, Fontaine scored 17 of her 30 points off of 7-of-11 shooting from the field.
During that 10 minute span, Ball State held Buffalo for the last 10 minutes of the game to only three field goals. Despite the second half effort by the Cardinals it would not be enough as the Bulls hit 17-of-23 free throws in the second half alone to secure the win for Buffalo.
Buffalo opened with a 17-1 run for the first eight minutes of play. Ball State then began to claw its way back. Still trailing 22-7 with 8:56 to play, the Cardinals went on a run of their own. They held Buffalo scoreless for the next two minutes, going on an 8-0 run to make the score 22-15. Buffalo continued to attack the basket heading into intermission with a 39-26 advantage over Ball State.
The Cardinals trailed the entire game, Ball State was out-rebounded 42-to-35. The Cardinals were held to 37.7 shooting percentage, while the Bulls shot 39.7 percent. Ball State's bench out-scored the Buffalo's bench 15 to 2.
The Ball State women’s basketball team continues its two-game home stretch Wednesday when it hosts Western Michigan for a 7 p.m. tipoff in Worthen Arena.